Lenovo X121e Makes Ultrabooks Look Very Expensive

Posted on 23 August 2011 By


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Price, brand and basic specs. These are the variables that most people use to narrow down their choice of laptop. When it comes to general mobility, the weight plays a factor too.

If you’re thinking of buying a lightweight Sandy Bridge (2nd Generation Intel Core processors) laptop though, the bargain of the moment has to be the Lenovo X121e. At about 500 pounds inclusive operating system and taxes (406 pounds before tax at Ballicom here) it’s half the expected price of an Ultrabook. (*1)

Yes, there will be some subtle differences which make Ultrabooks ‘better’ but will they be enough?

- Core i5 instead of Core i3 bringing Turbo boost
– Intel Wi-Di capable and ‘always updated’ network hardware and software (and possibly bios)
– Simmer, lighter design
– Fast SSD storage

The key feature of the Ultrabook for me is the high dynamic range of compute power. I like that the Sandy Bridge platform works well for average daily computing at 800Mhz and I like the Intel Quick Sync Video processing that can really help 720p video editing and upload in mobile and time-critical situations. Yes, I would like the turbo boost feature and, 1kg weight and the fast SSD will enhance the experience a lot but I can’t justify that 2x spend right now.

Like the Samsung Series 3, the X121e is approaching Ultrabook territory without the price tag.

(*1) Assumption is that $1000 Ultrabooks in the USA will translate to about £1000 when circa 20% sales tax is added in many European countries.

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  1. #1 by Flo on August 26, 2011 - 12:56

    Thanks the X121e looks really nice.
    How big is the performance differences between the AMD and the i3?

    • #2 by chippy on August 26, 2011 - 14:23

      The CPU performance difference is significant. 3x at least. The quick-sync video feature blows away the conversion capability of the AMD e350. Graphics difference not so big.

    • #3 by chippy on August 26, 2011 - 15:06

      Big! CPU performance over 3x. Video encoding / conversion is way, way better. Probably 10x for apps that use the Intel Quick Sync silicon.
      For 3D performance, the difference isn’t that great.
      We’re talking about a two different classes of computing power with the E-350 and Sandy Bridge.

      • #4 by Flo on August 30, 2011 - 14:10

        thanks.
        But i still fear that i won’t pay any attention to the lecture if i have a laptop with me.

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